Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rat Adoption (or lack of)

So, I don't know if I posted about the person who was talking my ears off a few days ago about wanting those senior rats.  Well, we finally connected again today and she said she didn't have internet to fill out the adoption form.  Naturally.  

So, I tell her we can do it over the phone.  And really, I probably could have skipped to the important questions and come back to the name, address, etc etc after I saw she could care for rats.  The diet was fine, but she keeps most of her rats in tanks.  Why?  Because she has so many.  And for her, tanks are easier.  Now, if you don't know, rats are to be kept in wire cages.  Not fish tanks.  There's a reason they call them fish tanks and not rat tanks.

So, I'm telling her, she will have to come up with two "cages" (like legitimate wire cages) if she wants to adopt.  And so she starts telling me about the tanks.  Oh she's got a 20g that the girls could go in, and then she's got a 15g -- oh wait, no, she needs to save that, cause she has a blue rat and someone she knows has a blue rat and that person wants blue rat babies, so she's gotta hang onto that tank to breed them.  Um, what?  I tell her, you're not supposed to be breeding these random pet store rats, you don't know genetics, so on and so forth.  Oh, but the female's dumbo and has thrown dumbo in the past (in the past???) and just this once, cause this person wants blue.  Clearly, not just this once if the female's littered in the past.  Oh and then she goes on to tell me she doesn't condone breeding, but somehow she figures that the just this once argument will be perfectly fine because it's ok to say "breeding is horrible!!!  But let me just do it this once and then I'll go back to that."  Wtf?  I don't think so.  Oh and it gets better.  Then she says, well, the first time the mom had 6, then 8 babies.  And she's like, well this person wants 2, so like, if she has 12, do I think I could come there and get the others and rehome them for her?  *yanks out all hair on head*  NO.  I'm trying to REHOME already existing, living rats.  

So, as if that wasn't bad enough, she says she's using aspen.  Which is fine for a lot of small animals, but the wood beddings aren't good for rats, because they have the oils and phenols which are bad for their respiratory systems.  Causes respiratory problems.  You know what causes additional respiratory problems?  Living in tanks with no ventilation or air exchange and breathing in tons of ammonia.  

So I told her, look, even if I was to approve her (which I wouldn't, after hearing about the "just this once" breeding, the tanks, and the aspen... god knows what else had we continued with the form), the person who I have that would be bringing them to her would likely not leave them with her.  Very nice guy, but he has like 2 rats per double critter nation.  He would get there, see the tanks, see the aspen, call me up and be like, did you know about this?  how could you!!  And not leave them there.  And so I told her that.  Especially because it's the tanks AND aspen.  If it was just a tank, with carefresh, maybe I could let that slide.  And I'm sure I've told people with open-air cages, don't use wood bedding, and then do, but at least with wire cages, it can air out.  So it's one thing to let bedding slide, or to tell her, try to use different bedding, but when it's tanks AND bedding that are wrong, she's not changing them both, especially when she says she has not a ton of money.

And she repeated, well, she uses the tanks and aspen because she has so many.  Well, then HAVE LESS.  It doesn't do anyone, or the animals, ANY good to "rescue" them if you're going to keep them in sub-par living conditions.  Great, she got them out of a pet store.  Great, she got them out of a feeder bin.  But then she puts em in a bad "cage" (if you can even call it that), with the wrong type of bedding, and she thinks that's better?  Some of those pet store rats may have gone on to be pets in wire cages, she doesn't know.  If you can't provide a decent cage with the right bedding and right stimulation, you shouldn't have the pet.  Simple as that.  I'm not saying she needs critter nations.  While I think it's great some people give their rats cages that size, I don't require that adopters need that size of a cage to adopt rats.  But they at least need a wire cage about the size of a 10g tank (if not larger) to adopt a rat or two.  That's about the smallest you can go for rats.  But at least, it's a wire cage.  You can hang hammocks, things for them to do.  Play with.  What can you do in a tank?  Oh, she's got an igloo.  Who-hoo.  You know why she's got an igloo?  Because it's hard to do much else with a glass tank.

Oh, but I almost forgot, she asked if they came with cages.  For a $10 adoption fee for a pair of rats?  Um... let me think about that... no. 

Anyway, so I told her, this guy would not likely leave them with her.  Because, truthfully, it's not ideal living conditions.  I would like to think the phone cut out right then, but in reality, she probably hung up on me.  Just in case, because I wasn't positive, I did call back and leave a message saying, hey, if the call died, call me back.  It's been about a half hour, and nothing.  So I guess she hung up on me.  Oh well.  The hunt for the homes for the senior rats continues.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Store (Mostly) Back Up and Running

Quick update.

So, with me finally being able to get my special order of wingnuts and hanger bolts, most items in the store went back to available.  Like the shelves, some of the built items, etc.  Because I can't make a shelf without the hardware to hang it.

The houses are still unavailable (unless you happen to want one of the few that's currently in stock -- no cottages though).  I know, I know, it's been forever, but I have had maybe two times that volunteers have stopped by all year, and the houses take a ridiculous amount of time to make when it's just me making them.  Especially when I get an order for like 6 houses, and then people come by to adopt and wonder why I don't have 40 extras ready to go.  Hint -- the small house takes over an hour to make.  That's why you never seen a ton of them and why I prefer making houses with help.  They'll be up eventually.  But almost everything else is back available now.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Hi all,

Just had a thought about something, and I suppose this is as good a time as any to post about this, because it comes up from time to time.  What am I talking about, you may ask?  Boxes.

Yes, boxes.  As in, the ones you receive your orders in.  Now, some people are lucky and receive their orders in mostly label-free and design-free brown cardboard boxes.  The unlucky ones get their orders in other boxes.  I will use whatever I have.  Today, I sent out an order in an Always Ultra Thin Pads with Wings -- bright green / yellow box.  Hey, the order fit PERFECTLY needing just a tiny amount of packaging peanuts, why not.  I've used printer boxes.  I use Greenies boxes (love those!), Omaha steak boxes (also love those, but not as useful), and mini pizza boxes (from dry dog treats shaped like pizzas that my dogs love).  Plus everything else you can imagine.  If I bought something, and it came in a box, and I thought, "this could be a useful box for shipping something out," chances are, either I used it, or it's sitting in my pile-o-boxes downstairs.  I probably look like a box collector to someone who wouldn't know why I have so many.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I've had people make comments about wanting plain boxes.  Now, why someone wouldn't want a bright green / yellow Always Pads box showing up on their doorstep, I just can't imagine :P.  Haha.  Anyway, if I can find a box that's a decent size, I try to use it.  As you may or may not know, the post office charges more if your package has dimensions over 12" on any side.  So if I can cram your 40 items into an 11 x 11 x 11 box, I do, so we all can save money and go home happy.  But sometimes that box is an Always Pad box.  The boxes you can purchase are very standard sizes, and let me say, large, so you will pay more for shipping.  In addition, if I had to go and purchase boxes, prices would go up.  Occasionally, I have gone and purchased a box, rather than sent someone their order in 5 smaller boxes (because that's just not practical).  Now, if I do that, the cost of that box is tacked onto your shipping and handling charge.  Boxes can run up to $5 for big ones at Meijer, so believe me, most people would rather not pay that.

I have looked into getting long boxes from U-line to simplify shipping out those long wood shelves that never fit into anything else.  I haven't purchased any yet, but those I may buy.  For my own convenience, mind you, not because you all want plain brown boxes. The reason being, when someone wants a 32" shelf and I only have 24" boxes, there's a lot of taping and cutting of multiple boxes and lots of effort going on to get a box together for that shelf.  Versus buying some boxes that would just fit those shelves as they are.  So that's a possibility.

But in general, I will use whatever I have on hand, as it's cheaper.  Same with packaging materials.  Since I just recently moved this year, I have a lot right now.  I actually have packaging peanuts (which are usually a hot commodity, but I have some at the moment), and I have lots of different pieces of styrofoam, those air bubble things, bubble wrap, you name it.  If you've walked into the room that houses the saw and the other wood items, you've seen the multiple plastic trash bags full of packaging materials.  I look like I'm collecting those as well.  I save em, because eventually I will use them, and they're free.  Eventually when I run out, you will see me crumpling up pages out of the yellow pages phone book.  Why?  Because it's free.  Occasionally, I will buy bubble wrap, as that can be hard to replicate with free items.  But the things is, I try to pack things the best I can, with what I have, which doesn't typically cost me a lot.  It's cheaper for me, easier for me, and cheaper for the purchaser.  But, sometimes that means you get a fun box on your doorstep.

If it's really important that the box be mark-free and just plain brown cardboard box, let me know.  If you're one of the people that doesn't care, I guess you can continue to enjoy the surprise of whatever box makes it to your doorstep this time.  :)

And more...

This was going to be a second post for yesterday, but I never got around to finishing it...

Remember that person that texted at the crack of dawn asking about chins, and I was asleep before they texted me back?

So, let me share:

Them:  Hey, you looking for a new home for some chinchillas?  Sorry to text you so late.

Me:  Yeah, this is a chinchilla rescue, we always have several available for adoption.

Them:  Great.  My son loves chinchillas.

Me: (in the morning) Hi again, sorry, I went to bed before you responded to the text.  Are you wanting to adopt a chinchilla

Them:  Perfectly ok.  Yes I am.

Me:  Alrighty.  We have a chin care packet you'll need to look over and an adoption form to fill out.  I can email those to you if you'd like?

Them:  Alright that will be fine.  But I have a couple questions first. 

Me:  Sure.  Ask away. 

Them:  Alright.  Are you hamsters average size or are they fat?  Like, I've had fat guinea pigs before.  Those effers got stuck in a little tube one time.  We tried to cut it out but we cut into it.  LOL  I'm looking for small ones.

Me:  I don't have hamsters.  This is a chinchilla rescue.

Them:  Oh right.  Well about the size...?

Me:  For chinchillas?  They're average size, none are huge.  If the tubes are small enough that you think an animal would get stuck, you shouldn't have it in the cage.

Them:  Preferably something small enough to not get stuck in a tube and big enough not to get swallowed by a 3 year old.  Don't want that happening again LOL

Them:  Well you see, I thought it was a hamster, so I put it in a hamster cage.  It was kinda little at that time.  I took it out of the cage for only a minute. I turn around and my son is choking!  LOL never saw that hamster aain.

Me:  This conversation is over.

Them:  So you're not going to sell me a hamster?


Now..... this sounded kinda fishy early on, but I've had a gerbil get stuck in a tube, so it's not entirely un-believable that that happens.  But this kinda shit is what really pisses me off.  I have shit to do, people who ACTUALLY want to adopt to respond to their emails, but no, these dumbasses are the ones who are emailing and contacting me.  Really? 

Moving along. I had pet coupon booklets that I've listed on several groups on facebook for free.  Pickup at the house.  It specifically says, on my listing, that I have a small animal rescue and cannot use these booklets, and as they only have like one coupon for small animals, they would be much better for dog people.  So what does everyone else?  Oh, can you treat my dog for parvo at your rescue?  I want to adopt a small older dog, do you have one at your rescue?  Ahhhh.  And the best one, where can we meet?  You can pick it up at my house, that's where we can meet. What part of free, come get it, do people not understand?

Moving along, this one person volunteers at some science center that potentially wanted to adopt some chins.  So they said, put the chins on hold (only if it was free, cause you know, don't want to lose out on money) and they'll decide.  So I tell her, the hold for 7 days is free, after that, they need a deposit or the chins can go to anyone.  And I also mention, in that email, that if the center decides to adopt, that I need the person who will be caring for the chins to read our chin care packet and fill out an adoption form.  So I get an email back today, that she wants to adopt, how does she pay?  Wait, hold up, back up a sec.  Didn't I JUST say about the care packet and the adoption form?  Plus, she said she wants to adopt -- so I emailed her asking if it's her, or the center, that wants to adopt, and either way, those forms need to be filled out, and I attached them.  I also told her, her hold ends at the end of the day tomorrow, so if they really want the chins, I need that completed adoption form asap so we can set an appointment.  And, the chins they are interested in require a wheel, which, just going by how well she read my emails, I'm sure she glossed over.  I reminded her of that as well (and it actually says in their adoption ad about this, and about bringing the wheel with them to the rescue to ensure they actually have it).... well... we shall see how this goes.  Nothing yet back from these people, and they only have until the end of the day today (25th).

On a positive note, a family that we saw at the Windy City Pet Expo is going to adopt!  Yay!!  And they're going to purchase one of the large cages, which will give me more space to organize stuff in the basement.  I'm not as positive as they are that the cage will fit in their vehicle in one piece, but I sure hope it does, because I do not want to have to get it back downstairs if it doesn't.

Few more things.  Maybe this section should be entitled - "what to expect if you want to adopt from a rescue."  First and foremost, expect an adoption form.  I understand not all rescues have a care packet they want you to read, but come on, caring for a cat or dog is likely more common sense (simply because they're everywhere) than caring for a chinchilla.  So we also have a care packet you will be reading.  But in addition, we have an adoption form.  Why?  Not to waste your time (or mine, because I did have to come up with it and update it from time to time), but because I care about where the animals are going.  Your address, name, the whole top third of the first page is mainly for my records.  I don't really care that you live on Main Street, or in Hammond, unless I know (for example) that you can't own a rabbit in Hammond and you want to adopt a rabbit.  Then we may have a chat.  But I don't take that information down for the purpose of harassing you down the road.  Unless you decide to sell that chinchilla on craigslist, but that is another story.  Anyway, the important questions are more, what type of food are you going to feed, what type of cage.  Do you know what acceptable chews are?  Do you know if they have temperature requirements?  This is the important stuff.  And you don't know how aggravating it gets when I see, as an answer to the food question, "chinchilla food."  No shit, sherlock.  I would hope you could at least grasp that a chinchilla could eat chinchilla food, but I want it a step further than that, which is why I'm asking.  I don't mind the people who put "want to discuss with you" or "will go with your suggestion" or "what do you recommend" because those people usually want the best and want to talk about it.  That's fine.  Anyway, point is.  There's an adoption form and if you're going to adopt, you're not going to get around it.  That's why this is a rescue and not a pet shop -- we don't just sell the critters to the first person who walks in the door.

I had two phone calls today.  Both said they were interested in adopting, I told them about the care packet and the adoption form, and they said they wanted to come today, so they'd get the forms back to me right away.  Course, neither did.  But mind you, both provided their emails, said they would, and so on.  Now, granted, they very well may email me tomorrow or the next day.  But, if these follow the path that so many others have gone down, they immediately thought "not doing it!" when I mentioned the care packet and adoption form and just deleted the email when they got it.  And of course, that's a waste of my time to send it.  It's never a long email, typically just, "hey, we just talked on the phone (or whatever), as I mentioned, here is the care packet and adoption form. Please read the care packet and then fill out the adoption form and get it back to me and we can go from there.  Talk to you soon."  But it takes time to write it out and attach the files and even that few minutes would be a few minutes saved if these people could simply say, you know, they don't want to mess with that, they'll just go to a pet store where they can simply hand over the money and get handed the chinchilla. 

My first clue, I suppose, should be that when I'm talking with these people about the chin, and they say, "we'll take it."  This is not a used car sale.  I hate to keep repeating this, but it's just not that simple.  At that point, I have no idea of the type of cage you have, the type of food you want to feed, etc.  It may all be fine, but it may all be not.  I had one person call today who said they got a chin from somewhere in Valpo and it died 2 months later.  Well.... I sure want to know about their cage, the food, the treats, before that person ends up with a chin from me.  That's the purpose of the adoption form.  "We'll take it," especially in the context of a chin dying and they don't know why, makes me think that another will likely suffer the same fate in the event it is something they are doing.  Which it may be, or it may not be, but I don't know without the form. 

I had someone call yesterday about coming to look at the chins.  I was having a super-productive day yesterday, so I didn't have them come over right then, they said they'd call today.  And they actually did, kudos to them.  So, they called while I was at Menards picking up my special order.  But I called first, because I somehow managed to lose my receipt and special order paperwork between the 13th and now.  Oops.  After turning the obvious-places-in-the-house upside down and not finding it, I called the store.  I did pay for this order (now, they require you pay for it at the time of the order, apparently due to people not picking up their special orders), but I had nothing showing I did, and only an order number (thank God for special order emails referencing the order number).  So I called and told the lady my problem and she said as long as I had my name on the order and brought in an ID, I'd be fine.  So I did, they printed me out a new special order sheet in the back (cause the front needed to scan it to show I picked it up) and I got my hanger bolts and wingnuts.  I still need to order washers, but I was so worried about not getting these (this order took months to finally get) that I didn't want to end up with thousands of washers and no use for them (those I can order shipped directly to the house).  So a lot of items on the webstore will pop back up as available soon.  Anyway, so those people called right as I was in line and the guy was standing there waiting for me to talk to him about the special order, so I had to tell him to call back.  So I got my order, left, I called the people back, and they came over to look at the chins.  Very nice people, I think they'd be a good home if they adopted.  They were interested in this one cage that I have that this other person has on hold.  This other person has gotten me an adoption form and everything for Gilly, but has since fallen off the planet.  They have til the end of the day on the 28th to get back to me.  And since these other people expressed interest in the cage, I emailed the Gilly person today and let them know, a nice friendly reminder, they have til the 28th to schedule a pickup (soon after) and if they don't, Gilly and cage go back up for adoption / sale.  I don't know if maybe something changed with that person -- I added in the email that if they've decided they don't want to adopt, to let me know that as well, but we'll see either way. 

Still nothing from the first person on my waiting list to bring in their chins.  They only have two more days.  If not them, the next person on the list is a very nice guy with two single-living chins that will take up the two available cages that are currently open.  Assuming all goes well and Monday, Josephine & Storm are adopted out, another cage will open up and I will be contacting another person on my list who wants to bring in a chin, and they will have their 7 days... and down the line.

We shall see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Goings Ons

So, it's been reasonably busy lately. 

The people who took Cumberpatch on a trial run came and adopted a different baby chinchilla.  Suzi and Stella went home.

Someone came to look at the rats.  They seemed to like them, but a few days later, I got an email saying they decided not to adopt at this time.  Which, hey, at least they let me know.  That's more than I can say for most people.

Because of these recent adoptions, I was able to finally email the first person wanting to bring their chins into the rescue -- someone who's been on the waiting list since December.  Granted, it's only been a day or two, but I haven't heard back from them yet.  Which is about par for the course, as it seems, when people decide to take their chins elsewhere or rehome them, they don't let me know.  I tell people, when I add them to the waiting list, that if they decide they no longer need to be on it, to let me know.  The reason being, I give people 7 days to get back to me.  If they don't get back to me in that time frame, I move to the next person.  But that means, if the first 6 people flake out (and none of them actually, you know, let me know), the 7th person on the list isn't contacted until 7 weeks after I started contacting the first person. Versus, if these people would receive my phone call / email and call back / email back and say, you know, we no longer have the chins, or we no longer need them to come into the rescue, or whatever the case may be, I can move to the next person quicker. 

Speaking of which, the first person on my list was given longer than 7 days, because I forgot to include that in my first email to them.  When it hit the final day, I let them know, they lost their spot.  I usually don't send an email like that, but they had chins from here, so that was a bit different.  This was the email I got back -- "Ashley, Apologies for not responding more quickly. [name of daughter] has had to take the responsibility on this. So, hopefully she will continue doing what she should do.
Thank you, sorry to keep you hangin"  -- now... who can tell me what exactly that means?  And why she couldn't have responded to my July 9th email, but no, had to wait until my July 21st email to say that?  Ok, back to what does that mean. I mean, really, what does it?  I emailed back, asking,
"What does that exactly mean?  That she's keeping them, at least for now?  Should I take you off the list until I hear from you again?  Or....?  Let me know, thank you."  Because to me, I really don't know.  Maybe that's more clear to some of you, but not to me.  Of course, nothing back yet.  

Moving along.  I had someone text me at 1:29 am, asking if I'm looking for a home for some chins.  And then they said, sorry to text you so late.  Now, first, people have no common courtesy.  But anyway, I figured, I was still up, so I texted back.  At 2:36 am, they text me back.  Well, I was asleep at that point.  I texted back this morning, nothing yet.  There's something to be said about people anymore.  Would you call your plumber at 1:30 am?  I think not.  So, why are you texting me?  

Another thing -- I feel like I repeat myself umpteen times -- you people need to learn some common courtesy.  Even though those rat people didn't adopt, I appreciate that they got back to me and let me know.  To me, that's a big thing.  You know why?  Because I have a ton of people who never get back to me.  I've had multiple emails lately asking 4000 questions and then asking, based on what they've said, which chins I think would be good for them.  So I write out a response, email them back, and... nothing.  Even if they could say, thanks, now's not a good time, we'll adopt later, that would be good.  The people who adopted Suzi and Stella were like that.  About a year ago, they took different chins on a trial run.  They liked the chins, but decided, not the right time.  They said they'd let me know when they wanted to adopt.  Now, I've only heard that a million times, but these people actually did contact me recently and let me know they were ready now... and came and adopted.  Now, was that so difficult?  I mean, even if they'd never come back, they at least were nice enough to email and say, hey, we're not going to right now.  Not difficult.
One last thing.  I don't have a lot of volunteers, but except for one family that always simply asks, "does this weekend work?" most volunteers email and say,  they're free all week, or any night after 5, or whatever, when works for me?  So, I take that as, they're free all week, or any night after 5, and say, ok, how bout this day at this time.  Oh, that day doesn't work.  Wait, what???  If you want to volunteer, it doesn't bother me if you want to email and say, I can volunteer, but the only time is Wednesday at 2.  That's fine.  That is perfectly fine.  If I can't work around that, then I just can't, but at least we're not playing email or phone tag trying to find a good time.  But it's super frustrating whe you tell me, oh whenever is good, so I pick a day, and it's not good.  If it's not good, clearly, whenever isn't good.  I'm not going to get mad at you when you tell me, the only time you can come is a certain day at a certain time, but I will get frustrated when I try to pick a day 5 times and none of those work for you, after you've just told me, any day this week after 5.  I get things change.  But I'm pretty good about emailing people right back, and if you email me at 5 and I email you back at 5:05 and you've magically got plans for every day except Friday night, which all developed in the last 5 minutes?  Suspicious....  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I try to be patient.

I try to be patient.  I really do.  But people.  If the listing is for two chins, why, oh WHY, do you freaking email me and just want one?  I have MULTIPLE listings for SINGLE chins, but NOOOOOOO you have to pick the listings with PAIRS and you want ONE of them.  That's NOT how it works. 

I realized today, my one ad for a pair does not say something along the lines of "these chinchillas must be adopted together."  Fine.  But doesn't the title, which says, "PAIR of ....." convey that?  Or is everyone so stupid anymore that they don't get it?  I mean, do you people go around to stores and pick up a 12 pack of toilet paper and take it up to the front register and tell them you just want 6?  I mean, really?

There's quite a few ads for single chins.  You want a single chin, you look at those.  Pairs are a little different, because, just because a single chin isn't paired up, doesn't mean it can't be.  But I'm not going to split a pair.  ESPECIALLY because often times in a pair, there's a more desirable chin and a less desirable chin.  In Suzi and Stella, Stella is the calmer, more handle-able one.  Suzi screams at least 50% of the time when you pick her up.  Guess who'd get adopted first?  But they are a pair -- they are bonded and will go home together.  In Mama and Baby, Mama sprays.  Baby doesn't.  Guess who'd almost never get adopted.  Oh yeah.  These pairs aren't together solely for the purpose of adopting out problem chins -- pairs just sometimes come that way.  I have some chins where both chins are fine, normal, healthy, happy chins.  Other pairs are like these that I mentioned, where one chin is less desirable, but that's just how it is.  You take the good with the bad.  I had degus once, where the one you couldn't touch, because she'd bite, but the other was sweet as pie.  Well, you had to adopt both, because they need companionship (and believe me, no one would have ever adopted out the biter alone, she drew blood and everything).  And someone came and adopted them.  It's simple -- you like one better, by all means, you can pay more attention to it, and you can leave the "problem" one alone.  I can tell you, Mama does just fine being left alone here.  She gets weighed when it's time, but other than that, she doesn't come out a ton.  Which is just fine, and would be fine in her new home as well.  Baby is perfectly happy and healthy and normal.

I have a lot of pairs right now.  I don't know why, but people seem to want one chin.  Two chins aren't any harder to care for.  I still clean the cages of pairs once a week.  Two chins eat more food than one, and they drink more water than one.  But that's about it.  Maybe they chew more than one, but when you only have a few chins, the cost of chew toys is hardly anything to complain about unless you have beaver-chins.  Which most people don't.  Pairs are an opportunity to get two chins that are already getting along, already bonded, and have a buddy.  What do you think your chin does when you're gone all day at work?  It sits there.  It chews.  With another chin, it can do all of that with a buddy.  I hear so many people who don't want their chin to be lonely, but they get one chin, and then later want to add another.  But a lot of times, that chin doesn't want a buddy, so they're stuck with one (for lack of better wording).  Versus if they'd just gotten two in the first place.  I tell people, if they think they may want two, it's better to get a pair at the beginning, than to try to add another chin later.  It can be done, but it's typically more difficult.  But no one listens.

One more thing, about the waiting list.  When I email you letting you know I have an empty cage, you have 7 days to get back to me.  I understand, if you're farther away, you may need more time than that to make it here.  But I feel like you can at least take the time to email or call back within 7 days.  I have someone on the list right now, first person, who is first on the list because they have chins from here.  They had emailed me and let me know they needed to bring the chins back, and I told them they had to wait, but I would keep them informed.  Little bit ago, I received an email asking if there was any update. I told em, not yet, but I would keep em informed.  Like two days after that, I emailed letting them know that I had an open cage, and I needed to know when they could bring the chins in.  Nothing.  Few days passed, and still nothing.  I now told them they have until a certain day to get back to me, or I'm moving down the list.  I understand people are busy.  I get it.  I'm busy too.  But if you're really wanting to drop off your chin, you can at least email or call back.  Even if you've already found a new home or no longer need to drop the chin off, for whatever reason, it goes a lot quicker on my end if you just tell me that.  So I can move along to the next person.  You are not going to hurt my feelings by telling me that you rehomed your chin or you no longer need to bring it in. I don't care.  In fact, I'd rather you tell me that, so I can just move straight to the next person on the list, rather than sit here and wait the time for you to respond, and then move on.  And if you get passed by, and I bring in someone else's chin, your spot just went bye-bye.  And you'll have to wait again.  I can't hold open a cage until you decide to email me back, because I have like 7 people waiting to bring in animals right now.  I hardly think 7 days is too short of a period to ask that you respond to me in that amount of time.  So if you can't respond in 7 days, you will get taken off the list, at least until you call again.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Inquiries wasting my time

And people immediately go right back to wasting my time.

I have two people who asked about chins.  First, someone asked about one of the pairs and asked if the cage came with.  It says right on the ad, these chins come with 4 pounds of food, goodie bags, lifetime of support, etc etc.  Nowhere does it say cage.... because.... they don't come with one.  So I told this person that, and I told her, we have several large cages that can work for a pair, the cages are on sale for right around $100.  Which is a super deal, because these would be $250+ cages in the pet store, and they wouldn't have the wooden shelves.  And she asked for more info about the chins, so I gave her more info about them.  Of course, I've never heard back.

And then another person, emailed asking about one of the chins we have that's not yet available.  Because the chin isn't available, her ad isn't up yet, so there's nothing to tell this person about her personality, whether she bites, fur chews, etc.  And if I can sell a chin without having to list it, that's less work for me.  So, by all means, I emailed her back, answered all her questions.  She asked for pictures, so I took pictures and emailed those to her.  Nothing.

This is why you see people with ads that say, "serious inquiries only."  Because for every 20 people like this, I get maybe one or two people that seem serious, that may pan out.  And probably half of those flake out at the end anyway.  But because you typically don't know who's who at the beginning, I gotta give everyone their time and effort.  But man, it would be nice if you could tell which people were not going to pan out.  I could save my self a lot of time writing emails, taking pictures, etc etc. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I was talking to someone today about this person on my waiting list that has two chins they want to bring in.  One of the chins has a medical condition, an ongoing one.  Not malo, not an expensive thing to manage, but something that will, undoubtedly make her more difficult to adopt out.  And I was telling someone about this, and how this specific person has been keeping in contact waiting to bring their chins in.  They're not first on the list, and they've been on the list for over 7 months now (in case you were wondering just how slow adoptions have been).  But they keep me updated on how the chins are doing and they just recently got me the vet records for this chin .

And so this person I was talking to asked me, why I even gave this person with the chins hope.  They said, with how the rescue's running out of money, why do you even talk to this person and give them hope that they're going to bring their chins in?  You know why?  Because they are going to bring their chins in.  There will be a rescue for them to bring their chins to.  How that rescue's going to be financed, if things continue to go this way, I'm not sure.  But it will be here.

I brought this rescue up from nothing once upon a time.  I can do it again.  

I will remember -- This is a test.  This is only a test.  This too shall pass.  

I'm still looking up.
P.S.  I kinda wish I could put background music on this blogpost, but I'm pretty sure that's out of the realm of things I can do, even though I do have a lot of options.  But I can imbed the video.  So, if I could, this would be the background music of this post:

Thursday, July 10, 2014


For once, we have good and bad (well, neutral) in this post today, instead of the typical posts lately where nothing's going right.

Still haven't gotten to the store to order my hardware for the shelves.  Well, I mean, I've gotten there, but the one guy who I've been dealing with regarding this is on vacation and I need him back.  Like yesterday.  So, still hardware-less.  Once I get the hardware in, I can (soon after) make those shelves back available on the website again.

Remember that person that asked about those four shelves and the pricing and then didn't email back?  And if you recall, I said how much of a pain it is, after I've packaged the box, and then I get to unpack it, put everything away... and then occasionally the people re-appear and want it?  Oh yeah.  So, 14 days, yes 14 days, after I gave her the price quote, she says she wants the shelves.  Which of course, now I gotta pull out new ones, sand em, package em, etc etc.  Doing it all again.  She's sending a money order, and to be perfectly honest, I'm going to wait until I have that money order in hand before I package up anything.  But grrr that makes me mad.

Still waiting on payment for the, like, ONE, order that didn't flake on me from back when I told people it would be a few weeks. 

So, the first person to hear about the 7 day hold policy had asked me about how to put a chin on hold, and didn't respond, so I emailed them asking if they wanted to put the chin on hold.  They didn't respond.  So, yesterday, that chin was officially off hold, and someone else took it home.  Ya snooze, ya loose.  And see, had I had the 14 day policy, that chin would still be on hold.  But Cloud went home.

Frito #2 also went home today, not sure if I ever posted about that, but those people did come through with their adoption form on day 5.  I gave them 5 days to get a completed form to me, because I had someone else interested in Frito (the people who ended up with Cloud), and they got it to me.  Even paid in advance, which I would imagine would ensure that I kept the chin here for them.  But I did tell them, I would, as long as I got that adoption form in on time.

So those two chins went home yay!!

Even better.... back when, I had a nice lady adopt Nyler, a mini rex male rabbit, for her daycare in East Chicago.  Well, her grandson lives with her, and he liked Nyler and wanted a rabbit of his own.  This lady had called me up a bit ago asking if I had any rabbits or cages and at the time, I didn't.  So she called again earlier this week, just asking for cages, and I told her, I have this one rabbit cage here.  So she said she wanted to come look at it, and I told her, it wasn't clean, but I could clean it if she wanted it clean (if she wanted to buy it).  So she came with her grandson and they wanted to get the cage and then they saw Oreo & Zoro.... and they're going to adopt the rabbits!!  Yayyy!!

Oh and I want to use her as a good example of what TO DO.  She recently moved to a new apartment, and she was unsure if she could have rabbits.  So when she was here looking at the cage, she told me, she needed to check with her apartment, and I advised her, mention that they're caged pets (because, when I was looking for apartments with my chins, a lot of places didn't know if it was like loose like a dog or a cat).  So she said she'd ask and get back to me, and I asked that she let me know, either way.  So, she asked her apartment, and they said that rabbits were fine to have.  And she called me to let me know.  Now, that is what adopters are supposed to do.  BEFORE they go out and get an animal, they're supposed to check to see if they can have one.  And then, either way, let me know.  Which she did.  And I appreciate that.  They're set to pickup the rabbits tomorrow.  We don't have a time yet, but I have no doubt these people will be coming by.

Oh, and I just wanted to mention something.  If you've read this blog any number of times, even sporadically, you notice I talk about the people I come in contact with a lot.  If it's you, hey, maybe this is your 15 minutes of fame.  Someone mentioned the other day, what if I'm talking about how dumb someone was and they read the blog.  Well... they read the blog.  They probably don't like me very much after that.  Similar cases happen all the time, but chances are, if it's you I'm writing about, and you read that post... you probably realize I'm talking about you.  But really.... you're probably the only one.  No one's going to be on the street and be like, oh that's the guy who never returned her phone call about that cage!!  I don't add in that much detail as far as who's who.  And really, it doesn't matter.  Cause who cares if the person who adopted Cloud is tall, short, black, white, stupid, funny.... 

But really, here's the thing.  I don't write this to upset anyone.  Chances are, if you made the blog, and it wasn't because you adopted an animal (as in, the rabbits are getting adopted, here is their story, here is their new family), it was probably because of one of two things.  Either (1) you made a really good example of something either that people should or shouldn't do (see above for positive example), or (2) you made me feel a really strong emotion (usually aggravation, but sometimes I dabble in others) while dealing with you, and you made me want to share it with these fine people who read this blog.  Either way, I've had people get upset.  Which is fine, it's their right to feel however they want to feel.  But keep in mind, these just are my opinions of people.  You don't have to share them.  You can read this and think, "man, what a judgmental bitch!"  I love when people tell me, "you have no idea what's going on in my life."  No, I don't.  I admit that.  But you all don't know what's all going on in mine either.  I try to keep my personal life separate from the rescue (though, that does become difficult when most of my friends either run rescues themselves, breed chins, or are otherwise tied to the animal world).  I try to only write about rescue stuff and not let daily life creep in.  So while I have no idea what else is going on in your life, you have no idea what's going on in mine.  So, we can all judge all we want because none of us know what's going on in each other's lives. 

And you know, we can all start blogs.  I used to tell my friends these stories.  And if you are my friend that hears these stories even more than what I write on here, I'm sure they all sound alike with very slight variations.  You should see what happens when I get together with my rescue buddies.  Occasionally there's a story shared about something that went great, or an awesome donation, or something like that, but more often, it's commiserating about the people we have to deal with.  Or even the larger shelters that we occasionally get animals from that really should leave the small animal rescue to the small animal rescue, because they just have no clue.  But it's just life.  I'd love to say the rescue is awesome, things always go great.  And it is nice to see the animals get adopted into their (hopefully forever) homes.  But, there's a lot more to it than that.....and that's why there's a blog.

I don't know what this is from, but I like quotes (and while I may not remember what I had for breakfast, I can remember these things like no tomorrow), and this one fits, especially in the context of the rescue and having the happy customers photo page:

"You never see the hard days in a photo album, but those are the ones that get you from one happy snap shot to the next."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Scheduling appointments.

I try to be flexible.  I really do.  But at the same time, I feel the people wanting to come by need to be flexible as well.  If you ask me, on Monday, what's my schedule look like for the week, I probably have days wide open and you can have your pick of times.  I may even allow you to come at the crack of dawn, even though normally I wouldn't be up that early.  Why?  Because if I know in advance, I can plan for it.

I have one person who has been wanting to adopt.  They wanted to adopt a chin that was, at the time they emailed, already on hold for someone else.  While the pickup of the chin has not happened yet (should be tomorrow), the person actually adopting the chin has already paid for the chin in full (and some supplies) and I have no doubt I will be seeing them soon.

As for this other person, they seem nice enough, I have nothing against them, but every time I email about when they want to come, they ask if they can come the next day.  Which would be fine, except "the next day" almost never works.  See, I need more notice than that.  The last time, I thought the day was free, but then family plans changed, and it turned out it wasn't.  We never actually scheduled a time for the person to come, but I had to email them and say that we couldn't do that day, and would have to reschedule.

Well, since then, I hadn't heard from this person for a few days.  So I emailed yesterday and asked if they still wanted to come look at the chins.  They said yes, did I have anything available tomorrow (which is now today).  Because I don't sit at the computer and just wait for these emails, I didn't see their email until late at night.  So I replied to it that I will be home until about noon today.

I got up earlier, like 8ish, and checked my email.  Nothing from this person.  So I went about my day.  Checked again at 9:15ish, and I have an email that asked if he could come at 9:15.  Really?  The email was sent at 8:28.

Rather than re-hashing the entire thing, I'm going to copy and paste the relevant part of what I replied so that I can reference it:

I apologize if it seems like we're having difficulty finding a time for you to come by. It's typically much easier though, if you ask for more than a day in advance, because I don't sit at my computer all day waiting for an email regarding what time to come. Had I known more in advance, I would have been up and ready.  

Giving me a 45 minute window between the time you send the email and the time you want to come -- that's fine if I'm sitting there watching for it -- but if in not at my computer or checking my email, that's a very short time frame and it's easy to miss the time with that small of a window.  I was up earlier this morning looking for an email, but then went back to what I was doing and only checked again now. I have a million and one things to do at the rescue, and while adoptions are definitely a priority, nothing would get done if I constantly checked my email for emails regarding adoptions. That's why more notice is helpful, I can be more prepared. 

If you get this soon and still want to come sometime before noon today, please let me know. I will be occasionally checking my email.

So here's the thing.  There's a million and one things that need to be done at the rescue.  There are always cages to clean, chins and critters to feed, orders to fill, paperwork to be done, etc etc etc.  This means I'm usually up on my feet doing something, rather than sitting in front of the computer answering emails.  Though I do do quite a bit of that as well.  And if you catch me while I'm sitting here, then you'll likely get an immediate response if you email about adopting or setting an appointment.  But if that email hits my inbox when I'm not in front of my computer, it may be a few hours.  Yes, I have a smartphone, and I do check it, but I'm more likely to open it up and play Hay Day for a few minutes than I am to check rescue email every 5 minutes.  Why?  Because it wastes time (we won't even get into Hay Day, lol).  No, but seriously.  If I opened up my phone every 5 minutes to check if I have new emails, that would constantly make me stop what I'm doing and check, and then if I was going to immediately respond -- I tend to do longer ones on my computer because I can type faster on an actual keyboard -- it's just not happening.  It would take too much time away from the already-not-enough-hours-in-the-day problem that I have.

And that's the problem with such a short time frame.  45 minutes isn't nothing, I grant you that.  I can accomplish a lot in that amount of time.  But here's the thing.  That's not a lot of time for me to go without checking my email.  And maybe this person thinks I'm being an ass, but I'm not trying to be -- it's simply that there's better things for me to do than constantly check my email.  While adoptions are definitely a priority -- heaven knows -- they won't happen if I don't have animals fed and cages cleaned and paperwork in order -- all that has to happen as well.  And I have to have time to do that.

Another thing -- if no one's coming over, I may not have the rescue swept or things in order. I try to keep it neat, I do.  Because when something gets out of place, and I can't find it, turning everything upside down TO find it doesn't solve much...especially when I can't find it.  I can think of an example from last week when I couldn't find my hobby knife to cut the holes in the hammocks for the grommets.  Searched and searched, and had someone coming who wanted to see hammocks.  At the end, I went through my medical drawer and had a scalpel, which has a similarly small sharp blade, and worked in a pinch to cut the hammocks and let me insert the grommets.  Granted, I made a mess looking for the original hobby knife.  But I never did find it.  I bought another one and the scalpel will be cleaned and go back to the medical drawer.  And.... that person never did show up.

But point is, things like that happen, even without people coming.  If I need a scraper for the pans and can't find it, and I have a box full of random shit, it may all end up on the floor or on a table.  Someone calls 5 minutes later and wants to come -- that stuff's still on the table.  I try my best to clean it up for when people come, but the truth is, I use a lot more stuff at the rescue than what's easily visible when the place is completely clean.  When all that stuff is sitting out somewhere, it looks like a pigsty.  I could sweep 3 times a day and that floor would never be clean of chin poos.  So I sweep about once a week, or, if someone's coming, that day I sweep as well.  So if you email or call and want to come in 10 minutes -- I turn into a chicken-with-head-cut-off and madly start sweeping and cleaning.  Because the reality is, having this many animals is too messy to constantly keep it ready-for-the-public.  It's not bad, don't get me wrong.  There isn't 4 inches of feces on the floor.  It's nothing like that.  But the few times that I haven't swept and people have come by, people have actually accused me of not caring for the animals.  Now, I'm sure, had they actually owned a chin, they would have known that that amount of poo takes almost no time to accumulate.  But without knowing, all they saw was those little chocolate tic tacs littering the floor, and thought "how could she?!??!"  So I try to tidy the place up for people.  But you all give me very little time when you email and want to come right away.

Several friends I have run small animal rescues.  There's not that many of us, so I suppose we all band together.  Anyway, she has a new rule that appointments must be made two days in advance.  For me, I'm not sure that would work, simply because I have a lot of people who come "tomorrow" or "the next day" and it works fine for me.  But the thing is, I can't drop everything and keep checking emails or waiting for someone to get back to me... cause some people never do.

This guy that emailed back this morning -- he just as easily could not have emailed back -- so had I been obsessively checking my email, I could have turned up nothing.  Going along with that, this entire time I've spent writing this blog, I've had my phone in front of me and I've been refreshing the email, in case he emailed back.  He hasn't emailed.  Which is fine, no big deal, but it's different when I'm sitting here, versus actually doing something.  When I get up from here and let the dogs out again and go back to cleaning and organizing and whatnot, if this person emails then, I won't see it.

And he may think I'm being difficult.  But I just can't sit there and obsessively check my email hoping someone emails about the chins.  Sometimes several days go by and I get no chin emails.  Other times I get 20 in a day.  But if I checked every 5 minutes for those days where no one emailed, that'd be wasting a lot of time.  And that's why I told him, if I knew more in advance, it'd be different.  Had I known, last night, that he wanted to come at 9:15, I'd have been up, ready, and he could have come.  But, depending on how I'm feeling, I may sleep in if I'm tired, need some rest, or don't feel well.  Obviously, I can't do that if I have a job, but right now I can.  And if I need to be up for an appointment, I will be up.  No problem.  But I need to know someone is coming to be up and ready.

This all said -- it is different if you've been here 30 times for supplies and you've seen the place a bit messy... which I've allowed because you, at one time, saw it clean.  But new people always come to a clean rescue.  So please, think about what it might involve for me, when you ask if you can come "now," or "soon." 

Monday, July 7, 2014

really slow lately

It's been really slow lately.  And I suppose, you all should have sort of gathered that, based on the posts about how everyone's canceling, backing out, asking about a cage for sale and then finding one elsewhere.  Had another guy call and want to come that day, to look at chins with his kid.  My parents were here helping me trim the trees, and I told him, not a good day.  He said the next day would be fine, and he'd save my number and call me.  Surprise, no call.  Had someone ask about a rabbit cage.  I have a nice sized one at the moment.  They found one elsewhere.  I never even mentioned price, just the size.  I had a nice lady asking about coming to adopt a guinea pig, wanted to bring her kid.  Well, her kid ended up getting sick, and she said she'd call and reschedule.  She never did.   The next day, I had someone come by and want to adopt all the baby guinea pigs, and I let them.  And I'm glad I didn't wait on the first lady, cause this is weeks later and she's never called back. Or I just got an email in response to the rabbit ad I have up right now -- "I'd like to just adopt the black and brown bunny."  Funny, because I just opened the ad and it says, "They can only be adopted out as a pair."  *sigh*

And that's everyone.  And on the other side of the equation, I have had people on my waiting list waiting..... wait for it.... 7 MONTHS to bring their chins in, because I don't have any room. 

Not to mention the orders from people who want something, I tell them, it will be at least a few weeks, and they say, oh yeah, that's fine.  So it's a few weeks before I get to theirs, I make their order, and they fall off the face of the earth.  After I've spent several days just on their order.

And finally, not to mention the rescue account.  Prior to this slow time, we had roughly $4-5,000 in the chin account.  This was nice, because it covered small and large vet bills, it covered if we needed to stay in a hotel for an expo, etc etc.  Well, with no adoptions and super limited supply sales and everyone backing out of their adoption and supply sale, we're now down below $1000 and it's still dropping.

I'm not working right now.  I can barely afford my own mortgage and bills, and I just got a notice from my bank that I've made "excessive transfers" from my savings to my other accounts (I dunno, to pay the bills and mortgage?  naaaaaaah).  If the rescue runs out of money, I do not have the money to support it right now.

I don't know why adoptions are super slow.  I usually tell people, they go in waves.  And they do.  Sometimes we have none, sometimes we have 5 people coming in a week.  Lately we've had next to no one coming.  Or the people who are coming are coming for $3 worth of hay.  I had someone say, discount everything even more.  Problem is, the chins are already on sale, the cages are already on sale.  If people can't afford $65 for a grey chin, but $50 is affordable, I'd hate to think what would happen come time for them to spend money on vet care.  Plus, the lower prices go, the less things pay for.  I could sell every cage I have if I lowered them all to $20.  But then, that $80, from selling all of them, wouldn't go very far.  Versus right now, if I sell one at a reduced price of $105, that will last me longer and I'll have extras to keep selling.  Granted, people think they're overpriced at $105, and that's for a cage that would cost $300 new, WITHOUT the wood shelves.  I mean, I get wanting a good deal.  I do.  But this IS a good deal.  It's just not something-for-nothing.

Things really need to pick up....

Thursday, July 3, 2014

...and yet again

Remember the last few posts?  About people canceling, not showing up, adopting from somewhere else after taking my time and effort trying to adopt a chin here?  Oh yeah, wanted to share some more with you.

Yesterday, I had someone call.  They got two chins from somewhere and wanted to update their cage, so they wanted hammocks, shelves, etc.  They wanted to come today.  So, I had a lot of hammocks that needed the hardware put in them, I made sure to put that in so they'd be ready for when this person came today.  And, because I still haven't been able to get my shelf hardware ordered, I went through the wood I have and shelves I have that other people have backed out of orders on, and organized it, so it'd be ready for this person.  Because they said they'd come with their cage dimensions.  Yup, you got it.  They never showed.  Never called, either, to let me know they weren't coming.

And also again, I had someone interested in one of the chins.  The person I spoke of yesterday who was going to have to put down a deposit to hold the chin long enough for them to come pick up.  Oh, yeah, they had a chin dropped off at the guy's work so he adopted that one.

Maybe it's just me, but I wasn't raised to change my mind the way these people do.  If I told a rescue, I'm going to adopt that chin, it wouldn't matter if it rained chins, and I could go outside and pick them out like flowers, I would adopt the chin from the rescue.  Why?  BECAUSE I SAID I WOULD.  And to me, that means something.  Clearly not to anyone else though.

I do give the guy props that he did, at least, let me know that he no longer is interested in the chin.  A lot of people don't even bother to do that.

Things better pick up soon.  That's all I'm going to say.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Landlords and other things

Would it be that much to ask, for you all to check with your landlords before contacting me?  I had someone today and yesterday both, who sounded like really good adopters, talked with me and sounded good, I get them the care packet and adoption form, and then they say, oh, well, they can't work out an agreement with their landlord.  Wouldn't it make sense to iron this out ahead of time?  Because I started thinking, yay, adoptions!  And these people weren't smart enough to check if they could have the pet before trying to go about and get the pet. 

Which, I might add, is how the rescue gets some number of the animals here.  People don't check if a family member is allergic.  They don't look at the rental contract which says "no pets" until they have one, and the landlord says, it has to go today.  Or, possibly even worse, they know it says "no pets" and they get one anyway, and then have to scramble to get rid of it when the landlord threatens to evict them. 

Before I got my dog, I checked with my landlord.  I was at the pet store, saw the dog, knew people in the complex had dogs, but I went back to the apartment complex and asked about what I would have to do to get a dog.  I had to sign an addendum to the lease.  I had to pay an additional fee per month.  There were breed restrictions.  Size restrictions.  None of which I would have known, had I just done what a lot of people do, and thought, "oh, well I see Suzi over there with a dog, that must mean I can get a dog, any dog I want, any size, any breed, any aggressiveness level, and I won't have to do anything extra, because I can clearly tell she doesn't."  Um, no. 

I had one place I looked at living that charged $20 per month for every pet.  That included caged pets, so if I had two chins, that would have been $40 a month.  Nice place to live, but not for me.  I would not have chins if I had to pay that much per chin per month to live there.  But I guarantee you, half those people probably have no idea about that pet policy and bring home a pet and THEN find out, and lookie dat, then that pet is up for sale.

Moving along.  Today, I had my first opportunity to tell someone about the new 7 day hold without deposit.  They were going to pick up early next week, which would have been day 7.  Well, turns out that didn't work for them, now they want to wait two weeks.  So, I emailed them back and told them, that's fine, but if you want the chin on hold for you, to be sure it'll be here when you get here, I need a deposit.  We shall see how this goes....

One more thing.  I have had an exceptional number of people lately email me about adopting a baby.  Note, there is a difference between adopting and buying.  Adopting means getting a rescue chin, one which was either dropped off as a baby or born here from a rescue chin.  Buying would be like someone getting one of my pedigreed babies that I sell.  So, these people want to adopt a baby, meaning, they want a rescue that's typically under 6 months old.  I went through my list of several hundred animals that have come through the rescue.  Over 11 years, I have had all of 13 animals come in that have either been under or around 6 months of age at the time they came in, or been born here to a pregnant rescue chinchilla.  That's it.  This isn't like a humane society where people drop off their pregnant dogs, we rarely get pregnant chinchillas, and even more rarely does someone drop off a baby.  The typical thought behind that is simple -- no one gets sick of a baby.  As a baby, it's cute, it's fluffy, people like it.  It grows up and people get tired of it.  Which is why we get mostly 2-3 year (at the minimum) age chinchillas.  I understand wanting to get a young one.  Less baggage, less potential issues.  That sometimes is true.  Not always.  I've seen some babies that are nasty.  I'd rather have adults myself.  But I can understand people wanting babies.  The problem is, these people are looking in the wrong place.  You may be able to get a puppy at a humane society, because dogs are horribly overpopulated, but a baby chinchilla, you probably have to go to a breeder.  And let me be even more specific than that, you may even have somewhat of an issue if you go to too small of a breeder, because a lot of us show.  I show my chins, which means the babies stay here until they're about 8 months, and they go to show, and are shown.  Depending on how they do, they may or may not be for sale.  IF I have any for sale as babies, it's likely standard greys.  If that.  If you go to a big breeder, they can't show everything and they can tell from early on, what won't do well at show.  But I have so few, I'll show most of them.  So, I don't often even have a baby for you all.  But occasionally I do.  On the other hand, the rescue pretty much never does.  Please understand this, as I can't magically produce rescue babies because someone wants to get a rescue chin but MUST have a baby.  That's just not how the world works....

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

...and again

I hate to only post when I have something bitchy to say, but people are being exceptionally flaky lately.

I had one person who had their chin on hold and was going to pick it up.  Ended up canceling because their kid was acting out, and they didn't want to reward the kid by letting them act out and then bringing them home a new pet.  I get it, fine.  So I told them, they only had a few days left to pick up their chin (out of the 14 days for the hold -- which I will get more into later).  So they say ok, they'll let me know.  Few days later, they send me an email, says if the game is rained out, they'll head up here.  Cause they were like 2+ hours away.  Well, the game wasn't rained out, and I didn't hear from them for a few more days, and it passed the 14 day mark.  So I emailed them and told them, hey, the chins aren't on hold any longer, I need a deposit to hold them for you.  Their response.  Oh, we found chins closer to us.  Thanks for the info!!

Now, that just makes my blood boil.  First, they knew how far I was away.  It wasn't like they realized, at the last minute, how far I was away from them.  They knew that from the beginning.  Second, they had waited til the very last minute to come pick up, which meant that those chins sat here for 14ish days, on hold, so anyone else who wanted them could not get them.  I don't know who else may have wanted them, but who did not email because they saw they were on hold.

Had someone else email several times.  Originally they wanted this one pair of chins, and they asked about how much it cost to care for chins.  I literally broke it down into how much it costs for food, hay, etc etc, and sent them a book email back.  Didn't hear from them for maybe a week or two, then they emailed back saying they decided maybe they wanted this other pair (which was already on hold for someone).  I told them that, and they said, ok, they wanted to get this older pair instead.  They said they kept coming back to that one and felt it'd be a good match.  So they asked for the adoption form and care packet and I got those to them and they said that they would fax me the completed versions.  Well, about a week passed and nothing, and I emailed asking if they're still planning on adopting.  Nothing.  Couldn't even be bothered to send an email.

Same with an order I had.  People had emailed asking for an order for wood shelves, and I told them, it would at least be a few weeks, because I had (and still have) orders in front of them.  Well, I skipped ahead to their order, because shelves are a lot less labor intensive than, say, a chinny-mobile, and I got theirs cut, sanded, bolted, etc etc.  Emailed them because I realized I didn't have a zip code so I couldn't calculate shipping.  Never received an email back.  Like, could they at least email and say, hey, we decided we don't want shelves, or something?  Guess not.

Had another, she wanted to know how much it would cost for two circular perches and two corner shelves with shipping.  Well, the corner shelves are $6.50 each and the circular perches are $4.50 each.  So $22 of the order was the shelves, and it cost $7.50 to ship all of those to her.  Now, let's put this into perspective.  For the average person, it costs between $7-8 to ship ONE corner shelf.  Well, I guess $7.50 shipping was too much, because they couldn't be bothered to email me back either.

And notice a trend in all of this -- would it be THAT difficult to just email and say, hey, I changed my mind?  When I was debating getting a puppy or not, I ended up getting a puppy.  And granted, that decision came down to the night before we left to make the drive.  But had I decided I didn't want to get a puppy, I would have emailed the breeder and said, hey, you know, I changed my mind, I'm sorry if this causes inconvenience.  Like, at the end of the day, she doesn't know who she is, but even if she does, I changed my mind.  It's ok to do that.  Granted, I wish these people would do that before I make the effort to put together their order and whatnot, but at least if I would get a reply... because see, now, I have a box sitting on the side with those four shelves in it.  I also have a stack of shelves for a large cage sitting on the side.  I really have nowhere good to put those.  I should put the smaller shelves away (the ones in the box), but then, my luck would be that the person will email 3 weeks from now and want those shelves.  But if these people would just email and say, never mind, that's too much, or they just don't want it, or whatever, I would be able to put away the box and not  wonder. 

And people, don't wait til the last minute.  I've had someone emailing about one of the chins.  We've had a few miscommunications, but they've had the adoption form since early on.  I had someone else email about the same chin, and that person emailed with adoption form attached.  So, I tell the first person, ok, you have 5 days to get me the adoption form. Today is day 5 (well, end of tonight will be end of their chance).  So they tell me they will fax over the form when they get home.  I get a fax last night -- two blank pages, short of their name and the fax information that the fax machine automatically puts on the pages.  Now, I know my fax line works, because I have other faxes that come through just fine.  I emailed them back, told them I didn't get the fax.  I looked up their number through my facebook messages and called them and told them I need it re-sent correctly.  I even messaged them through facebook.  Now, they have til tonight to get a completed adoption form to me.  They know this.  If they can't get the fax to work, and they can't scan it (maybe they can), it's too late to mail it, they're too far to drive it over.... they're out of luck.  And maybe that sounds mean, but they had 5 days to mess with it, and they waited until the night before the last day.  This is why they always say, don't wait until the last minute.

After all this, I have an order for someone for a custom hidey house and a birthday cake... that I am waiting on drying... I sure hope they want it.  I mean, not like this stuff can't be sold just as a custom one-of-a-kind piece anyway, but it kills me when people want something custom and then they back out.  So hopefully that won't happen here.

And I had an order get lost in the mail.

Now, all this said, our sales / hold policy is changing.  Too many people are backing out at the end of of 14 days and wasting too much time for these animals that are trying to find homes.  So, our new policy is that you can hold a chin for 7 days without a deposit.  Anything over 7 days requires a non-refundable deposit.  Once the deposit is received, you have 30 days to pick up your chin.  If you do not pick up your chin in 30 days, you don't get your deposit back, and you don't get to adopt.  We have wasted enough time already.

One last thing.  Does no one know of someone who would like to welcome some senior rats into their life?  We have two pairs of senior female rats.  Very sweet girls.  Just... they're seniors.  The one pair is nearing 2 years old, the other pair is 1.5 and 2.5 years old.  The first pair was a trio when they came in, but....  you get the picture.  I'd rather these rats not die here at the rescue.  I do my best to handle all the critters and care for them well, but it's not the same as these guys being in someone's house where they can be handled and loved on as either the only pets, or a pair out of a few (instead of large numbers, like here).  I want these girls to live out their retirement days as part of a family.  If you know of anyone who may want to adopt these sweeties, please send them this way.